I quietly laughed a lot while watching "Thor" last night. Campy. Cliched. Anthony Hopkins the brave old god Odin trying to prepare his successor for appropriate response to the ancient enemy Frost Giants. Loki the shifty-eyed trickster. Thor the trigger-happy hunk. Asgard the unreal citadel of gods guarded by one who understands all the problems the gods have. Earth the undesirable place to go into exile with one's radioactive magic hammer. (The look of Asgard reminded me of the furutistic Jade Mountain resort that we visited in December.) Natalie Portman the dedicated scientist losing her commitment to rationality on two levels in response to the superpowers and super body of the god who came out of the sky. Wait. What?
Was there any pop movie that didn't echo someplace in "Thor"? Natalie Portman's woman scientist learning about alien beings (Norse gods in this case) was named "Foster" no doubt in honor of Jodie Foster's role in "Contact." Thor and the fire-spitting frost giant walk dramatically towards each other down the main street of the little town out West -- I was waiting for the clock hands moving towards High Noon. Men in black represent the government's interest in the impact crater where Thor just landed. Even the city of Asgard somewhere outside of reality reminded me of the town in the Gene Autry Western/sci fi "The Phantom Empire" though I'm sure many other sci fi films have used similar combinations of ultra-modern architecture to create an other-worldly atmosphere.
The serious critics have serious problems with this movie. Too bad for them.